Wondering if you can play PUBG on PC for free? I‘ve got you covered.
As a gaming and streaming enthusiast, I was thrilled when PUBG announced its transition to a free-to-play model on PC in 2022. This opens up one of the top battle royale games to even more players.
In this guide, I‘ll clearly explain if PUBG is free, how to download it, and what you get with the base game. I‘ve also included deeper insights into PUBG‘s pricing strategy, beginner tips, and how it compares to platforms like console and mobile.
Let‘s dive in!
Is PUBG Completely Free on PC?
The short answer is: Yes, PUBG is now 100% free-to-play on PC as of January 2022!
Previously, PUBG cost $29.99 on platforms like Steam. But PUBG officially exited early access in January 2022 and shifted to a free-to-play model on PC.
This was a smart strategic move by PUBG‘s developer, Krafton. Here‘s some analysis on why they went free-to-play:
Compete with Fortnite and Warzone – Almost all major battle royales are now free. PUBG staying paid put it at a disadvantage.
Increase player base – Expanding to free opens PUBG up to wider audience, especially important after the PC player base declined in 2019-2020.
Shift to live service model – Free games generate continual revenue through in-game purchases rather than just an upfront fee. This incentivezed Krafton to make the change.
Based on public player numbers, the shift to free-to-play has been a huge success. PUBG saw over 600k concurrent players in January 2022, its highest count in years.
As a player myself, I‘m glad PUBG went free on PC. It lets friends join easily and expands the player pool for better matchmaking.
But what exactly do you get with the free version? Let‘s dig into the details.
What‘s Included in the Free Version of PUBG?
Even though PUBG is now free, you still get the full core battle royale experience:
All Battle Royale Maps & Modes – Full access to PUBG‘s selection of 8x8km maps as well as competitive modes like Solos, Duos, Squads.
Full Progression/Mastery System – Unlock achievements, rank up, earn skins by playing. No progression paywalls.
PUBG Esports Access – Can watch competitive PUBG leagues/tournaments in-game for free.
Limited Cosmetic Items – Can earn a variety of skins just by playing as a free user.
Community Events & Features – Participate in time-limited events that offer free cosmetic rewards.
The free version of PUBG does not cut corners – you get the authentic battle royale experience that PUBG is known for.
The main limitations compared to paying are around cosmetics. As a free user, you have access to a limited pool of skins and rewards. For unlimited cosmetics, you need to buy the Battlegrounds Plus upgrade.
But overall, free PUBG users get the full competitive game with no disadvantages. You just might look a little more basic than paying players!
What Does PUBG‘s Paid DLC Include?
Alongside the free version, PUBG does offer a paid DLC upgrade called Battlegrounds Plus.
This DLC costs $12.99 and mainly includes cosmetic perks and progression boosts. Here‘s what you get:
+100% XP & Mastery Boost – Quicker progression and unlocks.
Exclusive Cosmetic Items – Unique clothing/skins only for Battlegrounds Plus members.
Bonus Challenge Medals – Display your achievements and stats with medals.
1,000 G-Coins per Month – Premium currency for purchasing additional skins.
Battlegrounds Plus Icon – Tag that displays next to your nameplate.
I opted to buy Battlegrounds Plus to support PUBG after going free-to-play. The XP boost helps accelerate unlocks, and the unique skins provide some extra flair.
But these are just bonuses – Battlegrounds Plus doesn‘t gate any core gameplay or competitive features. You can still fully enjoy PUBG for free.
How to Download PUBG on PC Quickly
Downloading PUBG now that it‘s free only takes a couple minutes. Here‘s a quick step-by-step:
Open the Steam or Epic Games store on your PC.
Search for "PUBG" and select PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS.
Click install/get to begin the download (takes ~15GB).
Once installed, launch PUBG right from your library!
Hop into training or start matchmaking. Enjoy!
It‘s a quick painless process just like installing any free-to-play game. No purchase or payment required.
The download size is fairly large at around 15GB. Make sure you have enough SSD or HDD space available before installing PUBG.
I‘d recommend installing PUBG on an SSD if possible – this decreases loading times which is crucial for battle royale matches.
Will PUBG Stay Free-to-Play Forever on PC?
PUBG‘s core free-to-play model on PC is here to stay. The developer Krafton has stated this is a permanent change rather than a limited promo.
Some key evidence that PUBG will remain free:
Krafton says PUBG has "completed its transition" to a live service game.
Active development continues on new maps, modes, cosmetics – signs of long-term plans.
PUBG Mobile has been hugely successful as a free game, smart to replicate on PC.
PUBG introduced free trials on console to get console players to convert to PC.
Barring any drastic changes, PUBG remaining free on PC is here to stay. The economics make sense with in-game purchases driving revenue over just base game sales.
As someone who enjoys playing regularly, I‘m glad PUBG now has a permanent home as a free-to-play title.
How Does Free PUBG on PC Compare to Console and Mobile?
It‘s interesting to compare PUBG‘s pricing and offerings across PC, console, and mobile:
|Version||Price||Max Players||Maps||Platform Exclusive?|
|PC||Free||100||8x8km||Better graphics/frame rate|
Of all the platforms, PC now stands out as the most attractive offering:
PC has the largest maps and 100 player matches – This brings greater scale and intensity.
Only platform where base game is 100% free – Provides the lowest barrier to entry.
Superior graphics and performance – PUBG was designed for PC first so this is the definitive experience.
Console PUBG is still solid but requires an upfront purchase. And mobile is held back by smaller map size and touch controls.
For me as a PC gamer, it‘s a no brainer – PC is hands down the best platform to enjoy PUBG for free now.
PUBG System Requirements – How Powerful of a PC Do You Need?
PUBG has higher system requirements than other battle royale games due to its more realistic graphics. However, PUBG‘s developers have optimized performance to make it more accessible.
Here are the official minimum and recommended specs:
PUBG Minimum System Requirements
- OS: 64-bit Windows 7, 8.1, or 10
- CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 / AMD FX-6300
- RAM: 8GB
- GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 960 2GB / AMD Radeon R7 370 2GB
- Storage: 30GB HDD
Allows 1080p @ 30fps gameplay on low settings.
PUBG Recommended System Requirements
- OS: 64-bit Windows 10
- CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K / AMD Ryzen 5 3600
- RAM: 16GB
- GPU: Nvidia GTX 1070 8GB / AMD RX 5600 XT 6GB
- Storage: 30GB SSD
Enables 1080p @ 60+ fps gameplay on high settings.
My current PC has a Ryzen 5 3600 and GTX 1660 Super which runs PUBG very smoothly. A mid-range modern gaming PC should handle PUBG just fine, although a more powerful build allows you to better leverage the graphics.
If your PC meets the minimum specs, you can comfortably enjoy PUBG for free. But an SSD and discrete GPU is recommended for optimal load times and framerates. This is one game where hardware makes a noticeable difference.
Top 5 Beginner Tips for PUBG on PC
If you‘re new to PUBG, the skill gap with experienced players can be intimidating. Here are 5 pro tips that will help you improve as a beginner:
1. Complete the Training Tutorial
PUBG‘s training mode teaches you core skills like parachuting, looting, shooting and taking cover. Walk through it to avoid being completely lost in your first real match.
2. Land on the Edge of the Map
Avoid hot drops at major landmarks and cities. Land on the outer edge of the safe circle to gear up in peace.
3. Utilize 3rd Person Camera & Cover
3rd person makes it easier to gather intel and peek without exposing yourself. Constantly break line of sight using buildings, rocks, ridges.
4. Control Recoil & Lead Moving Targets
PUBG‘s gunplay has strong recoil and bullet physics. Pull down to compensate for recoil. Aim in front of targets at range.
5. Play Stealthy & Avoid Unneeded Fights
Stealth and positioning wins over aimless aggression. Only take clean, obvious shots to avoid giving away your position unnecessarily.
Master these basic habits first before trying high-risk, high-skill maneuvers. Solid fundamentals provide the bedrock to improve your PUBG skills over time.
The Bottom Line – PUBG PC Is Now Easier Than Ever to Enjoy
As both a longtime fan and gaming guide writer, PUBG going free-to-play on PC is extremely exciting. The core gameplay experience is now 100% free.
Krafton made a smart strategic play adapting to the live service model – this revived PUBG‘s PC population while providing a steady revenue from in-game purchases.
For new players, you can now easily try this legendary battle royale and see what the hype is about. Veterans can enjoy the revitalized player base. And the game has a long-term home instead of fading away.
While the console and mobile versions have their merits, PC remains the definitive platform to enjoy PUBG. Now that barrier of entry is gone. Just make sure your hardware meets the minimum specs for an enjoyable experience.
So squad up with some friends and jump into the addictive and intense gameplay loops that make PUBG so fun. With the game being free and still well-supported, there‘s never been a better time to dive in. See you on the battlegrounds!